Russia opens probe over Ukrainian Neo-Nazi's ‘mass grave’ video
Russia’s Investigative Committee has opened a probe over a disturbing video showing what are believed to be massacred civilians thrown into a mass grave. The news was announced by the body’s head, Aleksandr Bastrykin, on Monday.
The footage in question had been shared on social media by a notorious member of Ukraine’s neo-Nazi Azov regiment with a history of showing gruesome imagery of killed “pro-Russian” civilians.
“Experts with the Russian Investigative Committee will take measures to establish the circumstances of the death of civilians, as well as all those involved in their torture and murder, in order to bring them to criminal justice,” the Committee said in a statement.
The graphic clip was originally released online on Sunday by Maksim Zhorin, a Ukrainian officer and former senior commander of the neo-Nazi Azov regiment, which is outlawed in Russia. The far-right fighter said the video was shot in the town of Kupyansk, which recently taken by Ukrainian forces.
The video shows a big hole dug in the ground with several bodies in civilian clothes lying semi-buried in it. Another body of an almost-naked man with his hands tied behind his back and legs held together by tape can be seen rolling down a steep slope into the pit. A shovel can be seen in the foreground, indicating that whoever shot the video was in the process of burying the bodies in a mass grave, while several men sporting military camouflage can be seen in the background.
Zhorin initially said that the video showed “civilian population” and warned that “there will be retaliation.” Shortly after the publication of the disturbing footage, Zhorin altered his post, claiming the video was taken from a phone owned by an “occupant,” implying the murder had been committed by the Russian military.
“However, the public raised alarm over the situation in the video. It indicates that the video was filmed recently, when the town was under the control of Ukrainian armed forces. The internal parameters of the video also show that it was filmed on the afternoon of October 9th. These facts speak of new war crimes by the Kiev regime,” the Committee noted.
Zhorin is already known for posting graphic images of Russian soldiers, as well as of massacred civilians whom he accuses of being pro-Russian. In May, he released photos of apparent murder victims whom he identified as supporters of a Ukrainian opposition party. The extremely graphic imagery, deleted later by the neo-Nazi fighter, suggested the activists were brutally tortured and beaten to death.